Rooting Roses

Speaking of the Tightwad Gazette, I was flipping through it and came upon this:

Dear Amy,
When my sister was married last year, I took the half-dead roses from her bouquet after the ceremony. At home, I rooted them by cutting off the heads, making a clean cut on the bottoms, dipping the fresh-cut bottoms in rooting hormone, and putting them in a pot that was half Perlite and half soil. I kept these moist until rooted and then planted them in a shaded location in my garden. This year, on her first anniversary, my sister received a gift that could never be replace: 12 rose bushes from her wedding bouquet.
— Kimberly Hill
Warren, Michigan

As soon as I read that, I immediately imagined a rose garden made from anniversary, wedding, Valentine’s, and other meaningful bouquets that you receive in a lifetime.
I was under the impression that rooting roses is hard, but the above passage makes it sound like rooting any other plant. In fact, this how-to on rooting roses in Hartwood Roses goes over almost the exact same process. They recycle a milk jug to plant the cutting in and a soda bottle to protect the rose from the elements and keep in moisture while it roots, like so:
savvyhousekeeping rooting roses
I find that winter is a good time for little gardening projects like this. Now if someone would just bring me a bouquet of roses…
ETA: Since writing this post, I tried this, and the rose didn’t root. I would be interested in hearing other people’s experiences with this idea. Has anyone been able to get to root roses this way?
ETA 2: I enjoyed reading Sheila’s comment about her experience with rooting roses:

For years, I wanted to take a cutting from my now deceased mother’s Peace rose. It’s a beautiful yellow rose with pink accents around the tops of the blooms.
For my first attempt, I took 5 cuttings, dipped them in rooting hormone and planted them straight into pots. I kept the pots in the greenhouse to protect them. Watered every few days when the soil felt like it was drying out. Only one took root. This rose is not true to the parent rose, it is growing as a miniature. Nonetheless, I did manage to root something of my mom’s in her honor.

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17 thoughts on “Rooting Roses”

  1. What a great link! I had read that in the TG myself, and always wondered how easy it would be. I have a deep purple-so purple it’s black-rose bush in the yard that I may have to try this with next summer. If it works I could fill my yard with black roses…how cool!

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  2. Roses root pretty easily, especially during the warm, summer months.
    The only problem that I can see with rooting the bouquet is that the rose varieties may not be suitable for your climate/zone or may be highly susceptible to fungus and disease. But it is definately worth trying.
    I have rooted many plants this way, including a neighbors hibiscus plant and fig trees from my garden. I have read where some old-time gardeners would just stick the rose cuttings or whatever right into the ground and have them root.
    You can also cut the top off a pineapple and root it. It usually takes a little over a year to produce fruit. Then, the mother plant sends up side shoots. The original mother plant produces fruit only once, so once the side shoots are established, cut away the old plant.

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  3. Thanks for the mention of my rose rooting method. It’s really as simple as it sounds.
    Roses, figs, anything else that roots … to ahead and give it a try. Don’t use rooting hormone on figs, tho. Rooting roses from a bouquet? I’ve done it. You won’t know if the resulting plant is suitable for your garden unless you try.

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  4. I am about to get married and my sister just sent me this link. What a wonderful idea!
    Can you root other flowers using the same method? I’ll have some garden roses, but would love to root some of the other flowers too!

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  5. So, I am guessing that if you watered the soil properly when this greenhouse is made, you don’t have to keep watering? Thanks!

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  6. I hate to be a party pooper but most roses do not grow on their own rootstock. They are grafted or joined together with roots from healthier plants that have less appealing flowers. So, they may grow but won’t be as hardy as the plant they were clipped from. There are exceptions, but those are not typically the roses used in bouquets, like your traditional dozen red roses. Sorry…

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  8. Pingback: Rooting roses from long-step bouquets? - Plant Swap
  9. For years, I wanted to take a cutting from my now deceased mother’s Peace rose. It’s a beautiful yellow rose with pink accents around the tops of the blooms.
    For my first attempt, I took 5 cuttings, dipped them in rooting hormone and planted them straight into pots. I kept the pots in the greenhouse to protect them. Watered every few days when the soil felt like it was drying out. Only one took root. This rose is not true to the parent rose, it is growing as a miniature. Nonetheless, I did manage to root something of my mom’s in her honor.

    Reply
  10. Plants need more air thann water to root. Soil for rooting is more a gamble. U will have better success with seed starter plugs or coco coir cause its airier. And do not keep it too wet. Let it dry up a little to prevent stemrot. Peeling off the very top skin from the bottom of the stem before u dip it also helps

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  11. I take an old ice chest filled with good rich dirt then in the spring i take a very sharp knife cut limb on an angle dip in root hormone plant keeping soil damp at all time drains through the opened drain hole …also a limb cutting has to already bloomed for it to take. Leave until next spring before transplanting because roots are too fine

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  12. Last fall a co-worker received a bouquet of lovely, off-white roses and they lasted for 2 weeks! I asked for one to root when they started to fade. All I did was keep the stem in water in my kitchen window (indirect light) all winter and it put out a bunch of roots. I potted it in March and put it outside and now, there’s a bud! I’m so excited to see what the flower is like! Color, size, etc. It’s a fairly small bud, so maybe will be a miniature. Sooooo cool!

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  13. I have done this a number of times and have gotten pretty good results. I take a stem from a bouquet, cut off the flower, slit the bottom, dip it in rooting hormone and poke it into moist dirt in a small cup. This goes into a sealed bag until I see new growth. It helps to plant them in clear cups to check on the roots.

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  14. Just found this searching for how to grow a cutting from my daughters bouquet. When I was married over thirty years ago the husband of the lady who did up my bouquet, unbeknown to me, took a cutting off one of the red roses. (we had ordered them from a florist earlier)When our son was born eighteen months later, my husband brought me a bouquet of roses from the same bush.As you can imagine that is one of my most treasured memories. I still have a bush that has been transplanted from that original cutting in my garden. Was lovely to read of Kimberly Hill at the beginning doing this for her sister. I just hope I can do the same with a rose cutting from my daughters bouquet!!

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  15. To root roses from cuttings from rose bushes – do the following:
    Take a cutting from a rose bush after the stem has blossomed and petals fell off. This must be done in the month of August in zone 6. Cut off top. Stick in soil outside where you want the cutting to root. Take any jar and put over the cutting. If the cutting is too long, cut it at the bottom to make it fit under the jar. Water. DO NOT LIFT JAR until June the following year. Do several of these as not all will root. Most will though with this method and done in the month of August. Best to do it in early August. The rose bushes grown this way will be large and beautiful. I have several roses bushes grown this way 22 years ago. Water your rose bushes after they sprout leaves in the spring with epsom salts. The leaves will be an amazing dark green. Also, feed the rose bushes with cow manure tea. Take 1 large trowel full of composted cow manure and add to 1 gallo of water. Mix. Let this steep 2 or 3 days. Then water the rose bushes once a week with this tea. Rose bushes will prodcue lots of blooms.

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